Most helpful positive review
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2014
Moms Mabley is a name most people don't recognize. I remember her from her appearances on Ed Sullivan. Here was a woman with no teeth, funny hat and house dress, and she was hilarious. As a pre- teen I recognized her humor was a little bawdy, but I did not yet know that word. Whoopi Goldberg has brought her comedic life to the screen in a documentary, covering her from age 29 to 75.
Loretta Mary Aiken was Mom's real name, born in 1897 in a little town in North Carolina. Whoopi relates mom's tragic early life, two children before the age of 14, birth given up for adoption. But once Moms went to live with a stage couple she learned to sing, dance and tell jokes of one sort or another. She took her stage name from an old boyfriend and calked herself Jackie Mabley. She started working the Chitlin cCircuit as it was called. The places that black people could play from the south up the East Coast and beyond. She became known as Moms and was beloved by the people who came to see her. One of her famous lines was:
"You think you're gonna hear some jokes, don't you?" we hear her say. "Well, Moms don't know some jokes, but I can tell ya some facts."
She played the Apollo Theatre,and was soon known to the White House and played all over the world. One of her jokes in other countries was that in the US we had something they did not. When asked, "what", she answered, "Segregation" and we want to get rid of it. Her political satire was not sharp, but well placed, and everyone understood it. She was soon making a lot of money and asked to appear on television, where she became known to wider audiences.
Whoopi Goldberg brought moms to life with this documentary. Many comedians speak to what Moms meant to them and what she brought to communities, black and white. She played Sing Sing Prison, and they loved her. She would play to any audience who would receive her. She said she was color blind, and indeed she brought that grace to many. Moms was known as a Lesbian to those who knew her, and that was fine. She was, at times known to be the 'funniest woman in the world'. She tackled topics too edgy for other comics of the time, including racism.
Moms opened the world for other female comedians, and she will be remembered for her wit and her love of everyone.
Recommended. prisrob 04-09-14